“Speech Sounds” by Octavia Butler

General Criteria
• Writer demonstrates engagement with the literature, articulating intelligent responses to the readings.
• Writer demonstrates an understanding of the literature and/or identifies what is troubling or not making sense.
• While writer may briefly summarize the texts; however, most the response features his/her thinking and “talking back” to the ideas included in the text(s). Avoid “blow by blow” plot summary.
• Writer adequately supports his/her ideas with specific illustrations and examples and correctly documents any borrowed information using MLA style.
• Writer’s critical response demonstrates clear and thoughtful organization rather than a stream-of-consciousness style
• Writer’s critical response exhibits college-level style (e.g. appropriate word choices, varied wording and structures) with very few (if any) punctuation, spelling, grammar, or usage problems and employs MLA style for in-text citations.
Reading With/Reading Against Approach
• Writer demonstrates his/her understanding of the articles and pieces of literature’s key ideas through summarizing the main points.
• Writer is able to “talk back” to the ideas, locating potential gaps and challenges that might need further consideration.
Reading History/Culture/Race/Class/Gender/Sexuality Approach
• Writer demonstrates her or his understanding and reading of the text using one of these lenses
• Writer demonstrates the importance of one or more of these readings through developed reasoning
• Writer asserts one or more of these readings through textual analysis and close reading
Impact on Education Approach
• Writer demonstrates his/her understanding of the impact the ideas or concepts in a particular piece of literature may have on education and the teaching of literature.
• Writer explains as articulately as possible how this impact might occur. Writer might talk about the problems and/or possibilities this concept or idea creates for the teacher/student.
• Writer reflects, at least a little, on how his/her own experience(s) in classrooms and courses rub against the concept(s) or idea(s) to which s/he is responding.
Synthesis Approach
• Writer highlights the idea or concept as the writers understand it
• Writer explains how s/he sees these concepts connecting or disconnecting in a productive way


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